Friends, Family, and Coworkers can all form extremely close bonds.
Statistics show that we spend more hours at work with coworkers than with our own family members.
If we are lucky, we find certain individuals that vibe with us. We may share common interests or common talents. We may have a similar sense of humor or taste in music. It's kismet and it's beautiful when that happens.
But years pass. Life marches on and with that comes love, loss, and change.
Some of us grow and some of us remain stagnant. Some minds open and some minds close.
I'm sure you have felt it. You're having lunch with someone from one of those 3 groups (family, friend, or coworker), and you run out of things to say. Your common interests and similar values seem further apart. In the worst cases, this person sitting across from you is your spouse or partner.
Perhaps you are the one who is growing or perhaps you are the one stuck in your ways.
Invariably, one of you is going to be growing in a different direction than the other person.
Just because you grow in different directions doesn't mean you have to grow apart.
It can mean that, however, if you are not careful.
Having worked in healthcare for decades, I have learned how important it is to meet people where they are.
If you love someone, you can meet them where they are without expecting or pushing them to change.
My oldest, bestest friend once commented "it takes all kinds."
It wasn't a grand statement or momentous event when those words tumbled out of her mouth.
I must have said something judgy, and she course-corrected me.
How lovely would it be if we embraced each day and each relationship with that same framework?
I cannot recall the moment in which she said those words, but I have never forgotten them.
IT TAKES ALL KINDS.
How boring and monotonous would life be if we were all the same?
As polarized as our country has been of late, imagine us all agreeing on everything?
Where would the passion lie? What would spark change?
What would we learn?
So today, as I begin another day of onboarding for my new day job,
I sit with a smile on my face and love in my heart.
I have learned the most from those that challenged me.
I have grown the most being surrounded by those that questioned me.
I have loved the most by offering compassion and empathy
to those that may not even like me.
The next time you catch yourself thinking "we are just too different.
I've changed (or she's / he's changed)."
Pause. Take a deep breath.
Silently name all the reasons you loved them initially and why you still care for them today.
Who are you to say you are too different?
What can you learn from them?
What can they teach you about yourself?
It takes all kinds.